tv The Ed Show MSNBC March 4, 2011 1:00am-2:00am EST
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good evening americans and welcome to the ed show tonight from new york, here is what is on the table tonight. the wisconsin 14 are holding out in the face of outrageous and bogus threats that they are going to be arrested and extradited to wisconsin. the fight in wisconsin is really all about the middle-class in the country, and i have said it all along, but wait until you see what has happened to the middle class as union membership in this country has declined. the graphic is telling. fixing a state's budget crisis without dumping on the wage earners and without destroying collective bargaining. oh, it can be done, and governor jerry brown out of california is not the only one doing it. this is the story that has me fired up first, folks. governor scott walker and his cronies in the state of wisconsin, and here is what they want to do. they want to use taxpayer money to help wealthy kids go to private schools, now do you
think that is fair? they are dead set on cutting $900 million from public edge case. and the only thing that is standing in the way of this program are 14 brave public servants because they don't have votes to stop it, so they have to leave the state. there are rumors a deal has been cut and the democrats of the wisconsin 14 have been flying around to make it work all day long, but nobody knows when they will come back to madison, but the republicans, they definitely turned up the heat today. the wisconsin senate voted 19 to zero to hold the wisconsin 14 in contempt of the senate. now, the resolution they passed reads like this, senate majority leader fitzgerald shall order senate sergeant at arms to take any and all necessary steps with or without force and with or without assistance of law enforcement officers by warrant or other legal process as he may deem necessary in order to bring that senator to the senate
chambers. i mean, that is pretty wide-ranging stuff, isn't it? but i think that we need to hold it for a moment and really consider what is going on here. let's talk about the word "force." scott walker and his buddies in the senate want to force unions to give up collective bargaining. that is what it is about. they want to force public schools to give up $550 per pupil pupil, and force taxpayers to fund private education. who's going to think that is fair? the rich people. walker's plan calls for the elimination of income limits in the milwaukee voucher program which will open it up to every rich kid in the state of wisconsin. i think that this is the most dangerous part of the bill and the most undercovered. when private schools have the option to pick a rich white kid from the suburbs or a poorer student from the inner city of milwaukee, that poorer student, he is going to get the short end of the the stick every single
time. look at the numbers, over 82% of the students in the milwaukee school system, they live in poverty. now do they think that they have a pretty good chance to go to a private school? i mean that number is staggering. and the governor wants to do this. it is a heartless move. those students, they don't have a chance. they will have to go, i guess you could say to the back of the line. where their relatives were years ago, because you see, scott, scott walker doesn't value public education, and his budget proves it. walker doesn't want anybody to focus on his plan, because he knows how radical it is. what he wants everybody to know kus -- to focus on is the radical liberals, the wisconsin 14, and that is what he says is frustrating. >> it is exceptionally frustrating when it is clearer and clearer that a number of these responsible senators would like to come home or have intentions of coming home and telling people they would like
to come home, what is happening is there is a group among the caucus of the 14 democrats who doesn't want to come home, does want to come home since two weeks have pass and three weeks nearly since the bill wa introduced. there are some who apparently would be okay with staying two months or even in some cases two years. that is unacceptable. >> really? so, it is unacceptable and what are you going to do about it? well, you see these handcuffs? we are going to get tough now. wisconsin republicans want to take handcuffs like these, and slap them on public servants and drag them into the capitol. you know, the guys across the street would love to see that, because they love to make out the wisconsin 14 like america's most wanted. wisconsin republicans want to
cuff and stuff 84-year-old grandfather of four fred riszer. they want senator julie lasa a mother of two and who is seven months' pregnant to be dragged into the capitol and force her to vote. senator chris larson said that republicans are turning wisconsin into a police state. we are not flinching. what does that mean? how long are they going to be out? it takes courage to stand up to bullies like scott walker and threats. the wisconsin 14 are showing guts to the country, again, that these public servants have been away from their families for more than two weeks. they've really been called everything under the sun by those who oppose them politically. they have been chased all over illinois by a group of tea party stalkers because they have nothing better to do, and republicans are harassing the
staffers and it is low-rent. it is all because the republicans don't plan to negotiate. and walker has no intention to get these servants back into the state. the hundreds of thousands of protesters i think owe these public servants a lot of respect. they have showed what a sacrifice is all about. the wisconsin 14 don't deserve to be treated like or thought of as criminals and portrayed by them across the street as america's most wanted. no no, they are not. they are america's most revered. they revere public education. they are about fairness. they know that those poor kids in the milwaukee school district will never have a chance to go to a private school. and they don't deserve to be demonized and handcuffed. they deserve metals. get the cell phone out, because the text question tonight is -- have the wisconsin 14 done enough to come home now? text a for yes and b for no to 622639 or go to the new blog and comment on this.
i will bring you the results later on in the show. joining me is wisconsin state senator lee na taylor from wisconsin. how do you react, senator, from the threat of being arrested? you taking it seriously? >> well, first of all, ed, it is good to be with you and thanks for keeping our voice alive. i don't take the threat seriously for a number of reasons. the first is that they have put a lot of extra language in that resolution, but they know as well as i do that the sergeant does not have the authority to arrest us and there's nothing that we have done criminally or civilly wrong, illegal, so there is no authority for them to be able to arrest. what they can do is say that we are in contempt like they have done in the senate, but it does not reach over into having law
enforcement then coming to enforce what the senate wants. that is completely ridiculous, but more importantly, it is bully tactics and threatening and petty, and if they spent the amount of energy they have spent figuring out how to threaten us, and force us back, to sit down to talk and do what we need to do for the wisconsin workers and to put wisconsin on the right track, and to hear from the half a million people who have come to the capitol, we would be in a better situation now. >> lena, how concerned are you and your 13 other colleagues about the way your staffers are being treated? how they are being threatened and moved around and such stuff as that, it has to be aun settling situation. does that in effect affect the group?
>> yes, it does, ed. we are very sad and concerned. we have staff that have been with us for long periods of time. they have a supervising senator that has come into the office and some have been, you know, very cordial and haven't been mean in any sense, and that is the experience that my office has had, but other offices have had senators coming in demanding that visitors leave. they have threatened to take the budget. they haven't allowed them to fax or copy. i mean, it is really is, it is sad to see them do this. >> is there a deal on the table? are you close to a deal? >> there's been more conversation, but we are not close to a deal, and the governor spoke about in the clip that you showed that there are individuals who want to leave and there are the reasonable ones in the group, and then those who don't, and we all want to come home, and we want the governor the stand up as a leader since we came. we were ready to dart back to packer land and get out of the bear country, but we couldn't get it done, because the governor is spending more time in front of the cameras talking
about what he won't do instead of sitting down to do what needs to be done for the people of wisconsin. >> when rumors circulate or whatever, he opportunistically comes out in a press conference to make you all the villain. it is a pattern. and senator, great to have you with us. for more, let's bring in reverend al sharpton, president of the national action network. reverend, when you hear that tax dollars would be diverted from all taxpayers to pay for private schooling, where does that take us in your opinion? >> i mean, that's the epitome of an insut. at one level you have this governor as well as ohio and other states and we are talking wisconsin here, but what they are dealing with nerms the of the deficit and in terms of being in the red, and the unions and the teachers and everyone gives back. they say we will concede a lot of these things, we all will
sacrifice, take collective bargaining all of the table. that is not enough. on top of that, they now want to spend public dollars to give a vouchers and to private schools for kids that will never ever come from the neighborhoods that mostly need public education. i'm against vouchers, period, but to come with this is an insult to add insult to injury. >> i will say it. this is a racist budget, and anybody with a brain knows that those 82% of the kids under the poverty level are never going to go to a private school, and yet the governor wants the parents of those kids to take a portion of their tax dollars and fund private schools. i mean, it is a racist budget. you cannot get around it. it is picking on the poor, and it is picking on the inner city kids and how else can you read it? >> well, the results will certainly pick on them. when you look at the fact that we now want to take collective bargaining away from the parents, and we want to give a tax break to the rich, and we
want to now give a voucher with public money to kids who come from the wealthy communities and criminalize the 14 democrats that want to stand up and say, wait a minute, let's have a reasonable conversation with the people who elect me, we see what we are dealing with. we have to stand behind these 14 and stand behind the people in ohio, indiana and all around the country who are beginning to get a modified version of the same kind of behavior. >> well, it seems to me, reverend sharpton, social justice has left the arena, social justice has left the conversation. >> well, not only has social justice left, it is now a challenge for those who believe in social justice to really force the issue. some of us are rallying in ohio next week with the teachers, randy randy rhineguard and we are not going to let them out. >> and you have seen the polling. the governor is not being viewed
favorably here and there is a school of thought that he is losing in the arena of public opinion, and does that give the wisconsin 14 a victory in your opinion even if they decide to come home tomorrow or the next day? >> well, it is a huge victory, when you have a governor elected in november and now according to polls could not get re-elected now, and when you see the huge amount of people around this country polls saying they want to see collective bargaining maintained and they want to see tax cuts to the rich, i think that that is a result of the sacrifice and courage that the 14 has done by standing up for all americans of all races that are working class and regular people who want to live just the lives that they have the protection to go to work everyday. >> reverend al sharpton, always a pleasure. thank you for joining us tonight. remember to answer the question at the bottom of the screen. i want to know what you think. tonight's "takedown." the latest shovelful of b.s.
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kate: well, i'm shopping for my first car. gecko: nice! i do hope you'll choose geico and save a good bit of cash... curtis: what color is the car? i bet you'd look great in a blue car. kate: no...actually, i'm torn between a fuel-injected inline-6 and a higher torque turbo diesel. gecko: yeah...now that's quite a quandary! umm, i mean of course you could save either way. curtis: yeah but is one of them blue? cause i'd go with the blue one. anncr: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. be sure to check out the new blog@email@example.com. there we have access to twitter and facebook and on the ground reporting from madison, wisconsin, with insight into the battle, there is more to come as the prpressure mountnts. john nichols will tell us more and there are developments at this moment. we will be right back. welcome back to the "ed show" and thank you for watching . for me, it means an aspirin regimen.
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welcome back to the "ed show" and thank you for watching tonight. folks, the the crisis in wist swis never more heated. the crisis in a lockdown, and protests and groups reorganizing to recall eight senate members and eventually governor scott next year. with every extremist politician in the country watching to see who prevails in this fight, and let's bring in the correspondent of the nation john nichols who has been with us from the start of the story and been with us al of the way. john, we understand that there is breaking news moments ago that the capitol has been locked down and that the protesters inside have decided to leave. what can you tell us? what do you know?
>> well, ed, we witnessed a quite remarkable scene tonight. dane county judge issueded an order saying that if the capitol was cleared and if it could be cleaned, then it had to be reopened as what wisconsinites have always known it, open, easily accessed state capitol. we had a lot of little bit of tension early in the night with the people sitting in wanted to know what that judge was saying. they wanted a clear picture and they wanted to know that their in some cases up to ten days and 12 days of sleeping in at the capitol would not be in vane, and they would have succeeded in keeping it open. the police chief and dane county judge came in to talk to the protesters and an agreement was reached to leave the capitol and not to leave the fight for open capitol, but to advance the fight. and the wonderful thing is for
all of the efforts of scott walker and the media echo chamber to try to see a dispute and people dragged out, in the end, you had police and protesters still working together to make sure that we have a safe and functional capitol and yet people can exercise their free speech rights. in fact, the posters on the walls will remain on the walls, and this capitol, it looks like, we hope, is on the way back to becoming the people's house. >> so, it will be shut down for 48 hour, and it will be cleaned inside and then it will be opened back up, and the protesters will be allowed to go back i guess for the second wave as this saga continues. in the meantime, there is talk of a deal, but as you heard, senator lena taylor earlier tonight and in the last segment, they don't have anything concrete on the table. it doesn't sound like they are coming home any time soon, so where does that leave to us night?
>> well, let me say a couple of things here, ed. first off, if p the capitol is being closed and cleaned for 48 hours, one would hope that the democratic senators would not come back, because you certainly would not want to have some sort of situation where the senate was meeting while the people were being kept out of the people's house. also, many assembly members that i have spoken of have warned the democratic senators to be careful, because the assembly members thought they had deals for open and honest and free will and debate, but at the end of the day, they ended up with a 17-second vote in which most of the democrats were not allowed to vote on this fundamental issue. so there is still a lot of questions that remain open, and the democratic senators unquestionably are the heroes of this movement, but so, too, are the protesters. >> and with public opinion starting to turn against the governor, how do you rate the chances of some republican senators maybe giving up on the
radical agenda and siding with the democrats. are there any shifting in their possible position? >> yes, i have been talking to republican senators and i have sat in their offices. i'm quite certain that there will be at least one republican senator who votes no, but there are, i'm hoping -- and this is something i say as a journalist, i'm hoping that in our conversations some of the folks are telegraphing some important messages and some of the republicans i have spoken to in recent days have indicated a great discomfort with the division of their state and with the threat to their local schools and to their local services that are contained in governor walker's budget. so i think that this debate remains open, and there is a real possibility that you could
have some republican no votes. >> but it really comes down to trust. the element of trust. the trust has been broken so much, every time the democrats start talking about possible deal in coming back, walker goes out and sticks it to them in a press briefing. and threatening to arrest them. the senate took bold action with the resolution. very confrontational. said that they are in a constitutional crisis. i mean, what they are saying, and how this is playing out, it looks like this is nowhere near any kind of conclusion, john. >> no, it is not. look, there's one important thing to understand. we had an election in 1800 between john adams and thomas jefferson where they fought about the fundamental questions whether a president had the ability to arrest a member of congress, whether presidents had an ability to go beyond the constitution to become essentially monarchs. scott walker is acting like one of those ancient leaders who thinks that when he's elected he becomes a king for four years. the democrats have to have an assurance that if they come back, wisconsin will operate as
it always has, with open debate, with transparency, and that is going to take an agreement not with scott walker, i'm afraid, but with the republican legislators stepping up to say, we are not going to be the puppets of this governor. >> it is going to take something in writing, i think. john nichols of the nation. always a pleasure and great to have you with us. every single middle-class american is losing money in the bank because of the republican plan to bust unions, and i will show you the proof. actress natalie portman's pregnancy is troubling to the nation? we will tell you why mike huckabee thinks so. and we will tell you that, why mike huckabee is a hypocrite. that is in the "takedown." we're america's natural gas.
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people want to live and work in. somewhere in america, we've already answered some of the nation's toughest questions. and the over sixty thousand people of siemens are ready to do it again. siemens. answers. welcome back to the "ed show" and it is time for the "take down" and we have another pile of huckabee b.s. tonight. he really stepped in it this time. mike huckabee has seen the enemy and she has an oscar. actress natalie portman was the subject of huckabee's earlier finger wagging on medved's radio show. he is frequently a guest on our show, but i wondered what he thought when she said this. >> she got up and is visibly pregnant and it is a problem, because she is seven months pregnant and first pregnancy and she and the baby's father are
not married and been 2 billion people, notally portman says, oh, i want to thank my love, and he's given me the most wonderful gift. he didn't give her the most wonderful gift which would be a wedding ring. it just seems to me that sending that kind of message is problematic. >> it is such a problem to have a pregnant woman out in public. michael, buddy, come on. you didn't even get her quote right. in her acceptance speech portman said, her fiance said quote, has now given me the most important role of my life. and huckabee, he didn't miss a beat and he could not resist being mr. judgmental. >> you know, michael, one of the things that is troubling is that people see a natalie portman or some other hollywood starlet who boasts, hey, we are having children, and we're not married, but we are having these children
and doing just fine, but there are not a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars a year for being in a movie, and it is unfortunate that we glorify and glamourize the idea of out of children wedlock. >> hmm, did you want her to have a abortion, mike? what do you any? so mike huckabee finds it is troubling that an adult woman is pregnant in public and somehow she is glamourizing single motherhood, and stop scratching your head for a moment and consider this, mike huckabee has a problem with natalie portman who is a 29-year-old adult woman with a child on the way and a husband- to-be, but he never said a word about one of the gop's favorite teenaged single moms. bristol palin, the now 20-year-old daughter of his fox news co-worker sarah palin. and let's be clear. i don't think that huckabee should be making judgments about any young mother. but his selective choice of
target is very cynical, isn't it? he might want to take a trip back to 1992 and find out just how this type of attack turned out for the last national politician who tried it. >> prime time tv has murphy brown, a character who supposedly epitomizes today's intelligent highly-paid professional woman, mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice. >> well, imagine that ticket. huckabee, quail, 2012. that would give us a lot of material for the "take down." slashing spending on the backs of the poor isn't the only way to balance a budget. what the republican governors don't want you to know, and the numbers prove what i have been saying for years. republican union bashing is literally crushing the entire middle-class. i'll show you how next. [ male announcer ] this is charlie whose morning flight
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welcome back to "the ed show" and thanks for staying up with us tonight. we have been on the wisconsin story since the beginning and for three weeks i have been telling the audience on the ed show and the radio show that this is about union busting, because of the money, to go after the wage earners of america, and it is an all-out public assault on every wage earner in the middle-class. republicans are pulling out all stops to fundamentally change
your earning potential in america. it is all about them. what we have watched unfold in wisconsin is bigger than a union story. you have governors like scott walker and john kasich and chris christie and they have put the republican 30-year attack plan against the american wage earners on steroids. they won't stop. >> i just had to do and i told you so from february 22nd. chris christie even says that the unions are out to break the middle-class. well, the center for american progress today put out i thought some interesting data and it proves the exact opposite. in it is the proof of everything i have been saying all along and even written two beaks on it. according to the latest numbers from the bureau of labor and statistics, the earnings of this kun i have have is been on the decline for decades. you can see the red line as it goes down. 27% of americans were in unions back in 1967, and now, well, it
is under 12%. a lot of union busting going on over the years, and if you think that this has nothing to do with you, because you're not in a union union, you better think again. the fact is that the fate, the economic fate of the middle-class is tied to that union membership, the blue line. well, that is the middle class share of national income over the same period of time. see any patterns here? see any patterns here at all? here's the union membership over the years, way back in 1967. 30% of the country in the workforce was in organized labor, and it has gone down to where it is today. and the blue line, right along with it. you know, there's so much anti-union talk, and anti-worker talk in this country, and what if we were -- and where that talk comes from. and what if we were to tell the right-wing talkers of america that this is where your income
is going to be going. this is where your income is going to be going in the next 10, 20, 30 years and you see any movement up at all? there's no movement. little shot there, but there is no upward movement. none, none. bush tax cuts here, didn't help at all. what about the jobs it would create? what about helping every boat lifting the economic society? it is not there. this is a failed economic policy, because you see if you are not in a union, it doesn't matter, because as they chip away at the unions, they chip away at the middle class in this country. i u this think it is sad. i really do. i think it is sad that we vilify workers and we have seen it over the year, and this is the result. let me ask you, do you ever hear any of the republicans talk about turning around the middle-class income potential in this country? do you ever hear that, or are they more concerned with the
bush tax cuts and extend them for another two years? that is what think are about. but get back to the union busting for a moment. over the years this red line means less and less monies coming to support candidates across america to protect their wages and give them a fair shake in collective bargaining. that is what it is about. as this membership shrinks so does the potential to help the cause. listen to karl rove admit it not long ago. >> they lost 612,000 union members in 2010 alone and think about it, every one of those 612,000 people had perhaps several hundreds of dollars going into the political covers of their unions to spend on candidate, and so if you have a half a million people leaving every year, you will have a crimp in the political budgets of the union and it will have a direct effect on the presidential election.
>> direct effect on the presidential election. if you are in the middle-class tonight, look at that graph. that is where it has been and that is where it is going. it is going to go lower and the republicans are not happy until it is down here. they are all about union busting. that is what it is about. and this is where the right-wing republican governors want the numbers. they don't care about the blue line. this is not a hockey game, folks. they don't care about the blue line. they don't care how low that gets. collective bargaining can save the middle-class in this country and that graph proves it. collective bargaining, what has it done for america? it has given the 40-hour work week, and weekends off, and safety pensions and vacations, and unions lifted everybody's wage, because they set the bar in the workplace and now as union membership goes down, every single wallet in the middle-class is going to get pinched, and those numbers right there prove it. is that good for america? is this trend going to turn our economy around? i mean, hell, we have given tax breaks to the top 2%, and where
is the jobs? where is the income potential? it is going in the wrong direction. so the next time you hear a right-wing talker or some of the jugheads on fox talk about how unions are bad, you just listen about your income if you are below $100,000 a year, because that is your future. coming up, the right wing is blaming president obama now for high gas prices. we will tell you who they are cocovering f for. and it is not too late to let us know what you think. ♪
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if anything, i thought i'd get hit by a bus, but not a heart. my doctor put me on an aspirin regimen to help protect my life. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. check with your doctor because it can happen to anybody. welcome back to "the ed show" and thank you for watching tonight. the graph i showed you a moment ago, there is some other things that play into all of this, this war on the middle-class is not just being fought in the state of wisconsin.
it is being fought everyday at your grocery store. have you seen food prices? how about your favorite gas station? looked at the gas prices lately? by the way, folks, you and i, we are losing. gas is $3.40 a gallon and headed for $4 and maybe higher thank that, but it is not opec that is winning. it is wall street. wall street speculators are back at it again and they are driving up the price of commodities ranging from gas to wheat which is why we have seen food riots throughout the middle east, and yes, that is what about. you don't even know how much of your food and gas dollars go to wall street. it is quite a bit, because they do. their speculation right in the dark. so, we don't even really know what the real price should be as far as supply and demand and competition. it is the speck you lays or the and of course, the right wing, they cannot admit their pay masters are getting rich off of your grocery bill and your gas bill.
well, gosh, who are we going to blame for this? president obama? well, conservatives say he should drill more for oil. that it is all about supply and demand and the mississippi governor haley barbour said that president obama wants the gas prices high? he knows that the wall street speculators have driven up the price and he said so in 2008 when they ran it up to $4 a gallon, but when white house press secretary jay carney was asked about gas prices yesterday, he showed no sign of a white house commitment to crack down on the wall street speculators and let alone the understanding of wall street's role in all of this. here's what he said about bringing down the price of gas. >> we remain confident that the global system has the capacity to deal with major disruptions in oil supply, and we are obviously discussing having conversations with international organizations, the iea as well as oil-producing states about
options related to that capacity. >> oh, yeah, they just don't know how to produce anymore, do they? did you notice in the sound bite, not a single mention of wall street. now, the fact is there is, there is something president obama can do about the secret wall street gas and food tax. if he does it right, he could bring down the price of gas overnight by, who knows, maybe a buck a gallon, a $1.50. do you think that the president could do that? well, we will tell you how he could do it all next week in a special series in conjunction with "the nation" magazine on the secret wall street gas tax. it starts monday. and we have even going to get a little break of news that could determine whether you will be paying $4 a gallon this summer. you have to be sitting there wondering, gosh, i didn't like it $4 a gallon and that slowed down the economy, and don't you
think that is what the rich boys on wall street want? who is to blame? president obama will pay the price 2012. it starts here monday night on "the ed show" with a special report. don't miss it. we are coming right back. coming up the cuts in spending is not the only way to balance the budget. there is another solution. that is next on the "ed show." she felt lost... until the combination of three good probiotics in phillips' colon health defended against the bad gas, diarrhea and constipation.
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breaking news from this hour in madison, wisconsin. you are looking at pictures of protesters who have been camped out in the capitol for 17 days. they have agreed to leave so that crews can clean the rotunda. the agreement came after a judge issued a court order forcing the protesters to leave, but they came to the agreement that they will be allowed back in on monday morning after it is closed for 48 hours. well, republicans would like you to believe that slashing spending on the backs of the poor is the only way to fix a budget crisis, but of course, that is a lie. how do we know? because democratic governors facing the exact same problems are doing something a little bit different. they are proposing to raise taxes. is the earth still spinning? somebody is going to raise taxes? that is right, facing a $25 billion budget shortfall, california governor jerry brown has had to cut funding to many state programs, but he also
wants to extend across the board tax increases. illinois has a $15 billion budget gap. governor pat quinn raised both personal and corporate tax rates. scott walker found that hysterical. >> we still have a bumper sticker that says escape to wisconsin and instead of stending it to tourists, we will send it to the state government in illinois. >> except that the tax rates in illinois are still lower than wisconsin's and governor quinn's plans will net $7 billion of revenue to boot. and yet, many are following the walker model proposing big tax breaks for businesses at the expense of everyone else. rick scott got a $3.5 billion shortfall on his hands and he is calling for $2 billion in corporate and property tax cuts. go figure. rick schneiderman's tax cut
would cost $2 billion and he plans to offset the tax cut by eliminate ing a tax cut for low income families. an dennis daugaard explains the republican logic, a recession is the worst time to raise taxes. so i guess that when reagan did it, it didn't count. check your history book, big guy in south dakota. time now to call in washington post columnist and senior fellow at the brookings institute e.j. dion and great to have you with us. >> good to be with you. >> thank you. and you wrote an article that said they are staying in the comfort zone and where do you come to that conclusion? explain that? >> well, if you are a con ser conservative republican and you come in and cut taxes or keep them steady or cut programs in of which benefit voters who vote the other way, you are not
threatening yourself with your base. you get cheered by your base. you get at lot of attention from the conservative media all over the country and attention from mainstream media. but the hard thing to do is what these governors are doing which is raising taxes and cutting programs at the same time which risks making everybody angry at you, and yet, it is a more balanced approach to budget cutting and it is the way that governors used to be behave, and republicans and democrats alike. >> there is, you know, certain programs and certain areas of the budget that they are really attacking unlike any other time before. i mean this attack on education. this attack on collective bargaining, and is this the long-term strategy or have they been positioning themselves to be this aggressive for some 25 or 30 years and this is just the best time to do it? what do you think? >> well, i think that you have had a kind of steady movement to the right over a long period of
time. i mean, you noted that ronald reagan raised taxes. who knew that ronald reagan was accurately a moderate republican at least compared to the republicans that you have right now. i think that there's an interesting potential price right here. i was struck to go to the wisconsin story about a pew poll that said, do you support governor walker or the unions? the unions won in that poll. and that means that the republicans are not getting the republican base. 71% of the republicans in that poll said they support the unions. something important may be happening that in the last election democrats really took it on the chin among white working class voters and they lost them by 30 points in the house races. a lot of those voters and many of them had been or union members or were sympathetic and they didn't vote for some of the cuts. they support higher taxes on the
wealthy. many of the voters are having second thoughts right now. and that may be one of the reasons why there's some nervousness in wisconsin among republicans or so it seems with the position they have. and i think that you are going to see that in the congress among republicans in some of othese cuts. >> let's talk about new jersey. that is a state where the governor has been very visible being touted as a presidential candidate and he keeps himself in the media saying he is not going to run, but, you know, his trick. >> that is how they do it. >> right. >> i'm not going to run either i want to tell you. >> i'm not going to pitch a perfect game in the spring because the the yankees won't give me a chance, but that state has more millionaires than they do teachers. and we have gotten into the discussion across the river about shared sacrifice. i was at one of to rallies, and i asked about shared sacrifice and most of the people feel like they are being cheated. that they are willing to give up, but they don't want to be the only ones to give up. how is that going to play out politically for the governor?
>> short-term, it is okay, because people were mad at governor corzine, and they were unhappy, but i'm not sure it works so well over a four-year period. because, you know, when you are doing really tough cuts the way you have to do in a lot of states, and a writer for the daily "post" talks about governor maloy in connecticut who has $1.8 billion in cuts and including out of labor, but he is offsetting that with $1.5 billion in tax increases. and people say, i don't like this, but at least he is getting back something back from the wealthier people. when you take nothing at all out of the best off people in the situation like this, it does not work in the long run. >> and why aren't the republicans jumping out saying that they are running for president? it seems that they are somewhat very skeptical to do so or to be the first one. no one has officially announced and speculation with newt and what not, but do they believe that president obama may be too tough to beat?